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Living in lovely Blighty, means I don’t get much access to English language anime magazines. I still remember getting the news about NEO, the only true British Japanese media magazine…alas….even after importing Newtype USA, nothing quite compares to the glory that is the Japanese magazine industry.

First off, if you’re wondering where to buy, I would recommend the Japan Centre or Mitsukoshi (Piccadilly, London), both excellent stores. Or if you can’t get them there, there’s my good friend J-List.

I would definitely advise all anime fans to import at least one Japanese mag. in their life of fandom, so here is my humble guide to buying them.

First up

Nov 2003 issue

Newtype is likely familiar. It’s pretty thick, always has at least one pull out smexy poster, a manga chapter and some pretty interesting articles.

It’s a monthly magazine, and one which I used to get in bundles at anime expos as getting new issues will set you back (in my experience) anywhere between £12-£17. Ouch. But, a lot of people think it’s worth it. It’s so popular in Japan it gets a lot of good interviews and exclusives….oh and I did get a free model with it once!!!

“Newtype, the Moving Pictures Magazine” had its 300th issue anniversary in March, and is still going pretty strong. I, however, wouldn’t buy it anymore. Not enough freebies for the price, too much text if you’re not a Japanese speaker, plus I always find the posters to be few, and not something I’d want me Nan to see…(though this may be your thing!), there are better out there.

Second…

Aug 2007 issue

Megami…OK . Would never buy. Ever. Even if….I was paid to.

Well alright, I probably would if I was paid, but the principle would still be there somewhere.

If 14-year-old girls with no clothes on, in wierd positions, and maybe falling into other naked prepubescents is your thing (which, hell, might be. I won’t judge….well…), then by all means buy buy buy. It’s just….not really mine.

I’ve never seen it for over £11.50, and I’ve seen up to 20 posters included before. I think it’s J-List’s top-selling anime mag…So yeah. Not my cup of tea, but might just be yours.

Third…

May 2010 issue

Well, this will be bias. I’ve spent so much money on this magazine last few years, damn everything to hell if I’m gonna bad mouth it now.

It’s actually by the same dudes who did Megami, this is like…it’s tame, not so pervy little sister. Not that it’s just for females or anything, that’s why I like it, it’s just…well what you want from a magazine. OK, the issue pictured on the left, also included 4 posters, 2 A4 files, a song book, page of stickers and a real sense that you just contributed to a great institution. Or summat like that. Admittedly, the A3 poster with Lelouch on it probably had something to do with my keeness…*FANGURL*…Definitly sexiest character ever, with an allure like no—–anyway. I digress.

I paid £11 for it at Mitsukoshi in London, you can get it online for around the same, and you can subscribe (like the others). It’s one of Japan’s most popular magazines for good reason, a decent all-rounder and certainly one I’d recommend if you’ve never bought a Japanese magazine before.

Other notables would be Nyantype-a cute girl orientated mag. Or try Dengeki G’s Magazine-for those with a penchant for DD’s. Also, if you’re into figures, I’ve always liked Hobby Japan, or Figure Maniacs.

Or how about you go wild…and get Mum to buy you Moe Moe Uniform Encyclopedia for yurr birthday?

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アニメディアのキャラクターランキング

Ok, I’ve always liked knowing what’s popular in Japan at present, and the brilliant Japanese anime magazine ANIMEDIA always has it’s monthly character poll. So, from me to you, the rankings. I’ll try and put more up as it goes along…depends how popular it is 🙂

Also, please buy Animedia! This months was pretty good actually, Kobato stickers, posters for Black Rock Shooter, Gintama and Code Geass, a song book and two A4 folders of K-ON and Hakuouki.

  1. 1. FIRST PLACE- Gintoki Sakata from Gintama

2. SECOND PLACE- Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

3. THIRD PLACE- Hirasawa Yui from K-ON!

4. Hibari Kyouya from Katekyou Hitman Reborn!

5. Misaka Mikoto from Toaru kagaku no Railgun

6. Teito Klein from 07-Ghost

7. Okita Sougo from Gintama

8. Akiyama Mio from K-ON!

9. Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist

10. Izumi Konata from Lucky Star

11. Rokudou Mukuro from Katekyou Hitman Reborn!

12. Hanato Kobato from Kobato

Sorry it's not a great picture!

13. Nihon (Japan) from Hetalia Axis Powers

14. Ranka Lee from Macross F

15. Sheryl Nome from Macross F

16. Hitsugaya Toushiro from Bleach

17. Date Masamune from Sengoku Basara

18. Igirisu (England) from Hetalia Axis Powers

19. Sebastian Michaelis from Kuroshitsuji

20. Kira Yamato from Gundam Seed

21. Orihara Izaya from Durarara!!

22. Gilbert Nightray from Pandora Hearts

23. Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

24. Saten Ruiko from To aru kagaku no Railgun

25. Kinoshita Hideyoshi from Baka to test to shoukanjuu

PHEW that took me awhile. I was gonna put pictures of each of them up….but I really need to write my essay ;-; Do you think it needs pics?

Ever heard of SOAS? Didn’t think so.  I love my university, but hellfire I get the whole “Oh….what?” all the time. It stands for the School of Oriental and African Studies, and is…well….pretty good for anything Asia/Africa related. But  did you know, that the one and only mirai.fm owner, Mr Danny Choo is in fact an alumnus of said uni?

Hell yeah.

So, on a sunny Tuesday 13th April, Mr Choo paid us a visit…I actually dragged myself out of an Easter holiday-procrastination-oversleeping slump to attend his talk. If you don’t know who he is…SHAME ON YOU.  And then go visit DC …he is the god of all that is blogging. Oh and then go watch him dance… Tokyo Trooper

————————————————————————————-

So, back to the event at hand.Danny’s talk was definitely worth going to, especially for me as a student of Japanese. Introduced by my History lecturer, Dr Angus Lockyer, who heads up the Japan Research Centre,  Danny began with his childhood. Growing up in Hackney,  his sega megadrive (SCORE!), his starting to watch anime and wanting to play more Japanese games…and so it followed that Danny started learning the language. I bet that’s the route a lot of you guys have taken?

I’ve gotta say, I was impressed at his dedication. Danny claims his love for a J-pop idol made him more determined to learn Japanese, and he gave a few interesting tips for us learners…

  • Danny recorded the audio from anime and played it back on his mp3, while walking/on buses etc.
  • He translated j-pop songs that he really liked (something I’ve heard many people do).
  • And most importantly in my opinion, the creation of Kanji charts and then putting them all over the house, especially in the toilet.

I would definitely recommend the last point, putting up grammar points on the side of the shower was certainly the key to my success at Japanese AS Level 😀 (If you can call it success >_>;)

Technical problems during the presentation...

Danny also put a lot of effort into getting jobs that would give him a chance to practice his language skills.

From a Japanese restaurant (where he met his lovely wife), onto JAL at Heathrow (Japan Airlines), and it must’ve worked as he graduated SOAS with First Class Honours….

*realises she should get her butt in gear if she wants to do the same….*

ALAS Danny Choo just wanted to live and work in Japan. He called it his “Destination”, and finally got a position with a magazine in Japan, thanks to his skills with the web, and then after that worked for Amazon.jp, also with their website.

  • One thing he also mentioned here, was that if you’re nay too keen on being an English teacher in Japan, a key thing to getting a job out there, is developing other important skills-NOT just language.

ALAS (I really like that word), he still wasn’t doing what he wanted to do. And he made a poignant, if slightly clichéd, speech about how little time we all have, how we should do what we truly love, and enjoy it. It certainly struck a chord with the audience though, and made me wanna go home and do my homework.

*Disclaimer: She did not actually go home and do her homework. But the thought was there.*

And thus Mirai (meaning future in Japanese), was formed. And the famous dannychoo.com. It’s user based content of blog-style posts vary from life in Japan, to anime, to figures, to Ball Jointed Dolls. A lovely example of which can be seen to the right, some of the audience brought their “daughters” with them.

Danny briefly spoke on the success of his business, all the Mirai related merchandise, TV appearances and now an in-the-making Anime. apparently showing all of us, that putting in enough effort will get you somewhere.

Not telling you where I am.

A lot of people turned up, and it was a good night, with a few hours for networking (or rather in practice for myself and friend….going really red and asking for photos with the Choo-ster). I would definitely advise checking out Danny’s website, a friend of mine can’t stand anime but she still reads it for the interesting insights into Japanese culture.

So, in the words of Danny himself….Lovely Jubbly.